WTA and eBay partner to combat sale of illegal wildlife products

Wildlife Trafficking Alliance

The Siberian tiger is an endangered (EN) tiger subspecies. Three tiger subspecies are already extinct. Photo by Dave Pape

SILVER SPRING, Md. – The Wildlife Trafficking Alliance (WTA), a program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and eBay have been working together for the past five years to raise consumer awareness and reduce demand and sale of illegal wildlife products. Today, WTA and eBay are announcing a partnership on a year-long series of events kicking off on March 3, World Wildlife Day.

“eBay is the world’s leading peer-to-peer seller platform and models corporate concern and responsibility for the goods that are sold using their technology. Part of this is a commitment to educating consumers on illegal wildlife products,” said Dan Ashe, President and CEO of the AZA. “We are excited to partner with eBay on this series of events. Together, we will educate millions of consumers and raise money to help stop wildlife trafficking.”

eBay is one of the founding corporate partners of WTA, and over the past five years has taken critical steps to fulfill those commitments—from online monitoring of listings and developing partnerships with law enforcement agencies, to raising awareness about wildlife trafficking through its consumers and helping to reduce the purchase and sale of illegal wildlife products on its platform. Additionally, since WTA was acquired by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in 2018, eBay has maintained annual “Gold Partner” status, contributing $10,000 of unrestricted funds per year to help fund WTA activities.

White rhinoceros in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Photo by Esculapio, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

White rhinoceros in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Photo by Esculapio, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

This year marks the first comprehensive effort that will take place on key dates throughout the year with the goals of raising awareness about wildlife trafficking, reducing the attempted purchase and sale of illegal wildlife products on the eBay platform, and raising money for WTA projects and initiatives that seek to combat wildlife trafficking around the world.

The 2021 day-long event series launching on World Wildlife Day will continue throughout the year on July 29 (International Tiger Day), August 12 (World Elephant Day), September 22 (World Rhino Day), and will conclude with the main auction event on September 27 (World Tourism Day).

Despite the global embargo on elephant ivory that has been in place since 1990, the rate of elephant slaughter for tusks is at the highest point in a decade. In this picture, three female African bush elephants travel as a small herd in Tanzania. Photo by Ikiwaner, taken July 29, 2010, licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2.

Despite the global embargo on elephant ivory that has been in place since 1990, the elephant slaughter is still occurring at an alarming rate. In this picture, three female African bush elephants travel as a small herd in Tanzania. Photo by Ikiwaner, taken in 2010, licensed under terms of GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2.

To celebrate these key dates, eBay will feature the Wildlife Trafficking Alliance as part of their “Give at Checkout” program, starting with the week of February 28—March 7 in recognition of World Wildlife Day. Additionally, eBay customers will be able to support WTA year-round by purchasing a donation certificate as part of eBay’s “Gifts That Give Back” program or utilizing the give at checkout feature.

“eBay is committed to doing its part to protect endangered species and has worked closely with conservation organizations and regulatory authorities to develop company policies designed to combat the illegal trade of wildlife. As part of those efforts, we have blocked over 257,000 listings for items that may violate our Animal Products Policy in 2020,” said eBay’s Director of Global Policy and Regulatory Management, Mike Carson. “But eradicating the illegal wildlife trade must be a collaborative effort that not only addresses supply issues, but also educates the consumer on the illegal and unethical nature of these products in order to reduce demand.  eBay is proud to work with the Wildlife Trafficking Alliance to raise awareness about the issue among our community and to support efforts to raise money for anti-wildlife trafficking activities.”

For more information about the Wildlife Trafficking Alliance visit: www.wildlifetraffickingalliance.org.

About AZA

Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and 12 other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit www.aza.org.

About Wildlife Trafficking Alliance

The Wildlife Trafficking Alliance (WTA) is a coalition of more than 80 leading companies, non-profit organizations, and AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums working together to reduce, and eventually eliminate, the illegal trade of wildlife and wildlife products. WTA works with a variety of partners whose active engagement is essential to the success of the WTA goals. To learn more, visit www.wildlifetraffickingalliance.org.

About eBay

eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) is a global commerce leader that connects millions of buyers and sellers in 190 markets around the world. The company exists to enable economic opportunity for individuals, entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations of all sizes. The ebay.com marketplace and its localized counterparts, as well as the eBay mobile apps, are among the world’s largest and most vibrant marketplaces for discovering great value and unique selection. For more information, visit ebayinc.com.

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